A Rebuttal to "Jung's Anima Theory
and How it Relates to Crossdressing"

[The following can also be read at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/androgynes/message/3452 :]

Date: Sunday, Jan 5, 2003 11:35 AM
From: "Xino" <xino@lycos.com>
Subject: [androgynes] Re: Article: Jung's Anima Theory and How it Relates to Crossdressing
To: <androgynes@yahoogroups.com>

[This post is the result of a discussion concerning the article, "Jung's Anima Theory and How it Relates to Crossdressing," by Catherine Anderson, which can be found at http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/cathytg/anima.htm]

One problem with Jung's anima theory is that it assumes a monolithically bipolar psyche: all men have masculine psyches with feminine unconscious components and all women have the reverse. Another problem is that if you read Jung closely, you soon realize that he doesn't think of these as equal opposites. He never tires of putting down the woman's "animus" so he never clearly admits that women can think competently. And he never really accepts the full implications of the man's "anima"; she always has to be regulated and controlled by the male consciousness. The idea that anybody sane would act out his anima by crossdressing was unthinkable to him, and he wrote a scathing paper about the first transsexual surgery, which he thought grotesque.

I think this is the best Jung could do, given the sexually polarized and misogynistic society he lived in; and for his time it was very forward-looking.

But I also think we're way beyond that now, and that better acquaintance with non-western societies has shown that this monolithic division into two groups isn't the only way of handling gender. And of course we hold completely different views about male superiority.

So yes, Jung's stuff is a stage to pass through. But androgynes, above all, need to pass through it. It doesn't really allow for the way we are.


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This page first created 1/6/03. Copyright Stephe Feldman, 2003. Last update: 4/30/05.